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SpaceHome > Articles > Fluorescence Photography > Applications of the ultraviolet technique - Oncology


Authors: Prof. Robin Williams and Gigi Williams

Applications of the ultraviolet technique:

Application Notes Reference
Carcinogenic agents in animal tissue Described a colour fluorescence recording technique and then used it to study the fluorescence of carcinogenic agents in animal tissue but also described at some length the red fluorescence of porphyrins in rats. Figge & Clarke 1942
Figge 1944
Cervical carcinoma Demonstrated red fluorescence in vaginal discharge from patients with carcinoma of the cervix. Jones et al. 1946
Squamous cell carcinoma Described the application of this technique to the diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma. A 'live-coal' fluorescence was detected on the surface of the necrotic ulcerated tumour. The red fluorescence was not found in basal cell carcinoma. Further work showed the fluorescence to occur only in epidermoid (squamous cell) carcinoma where there was ulceration, necrosis and a high degree of malignancy. Many colour photographs were presented. Ronchese1953
Ronchese et a/. 1954
Ulcerated squamous cell Carcinoma detection The red fluorescence of Squamous Cell Carcinoma can be increased in intensity by intravenous injection of hematoporphyrins. No fluorescence in basal cell carcinomas. Used to determine extent of involvement and as a basis for prognosis. Facilitated the detection of small lymph nodes. Rassmussen- Taxdal et al 1955
Carcinoma of the bronchus & oesophagus Used an acid derivative of haematoporphyrin to identify malignant lesions via bronchoscopy and oesophagoscopy. Lipson et al 1961
Carcinoma of the colon Reported that intravenous administration of tetracycline followed by ultraviolet examination of colonic washings was of real value in the diagnosis of colonic and gastric carcinoma. Carter et al. 1962
Squamous cell carcinoma Used ultraviolet induced fluorescence to study squamous cell carcinoma. Concluded that the red fluorescence was due to microbial action of Staph. pyogenes and E. coli on the surface of the lesions rather than an inherent fluorescence from the tumours. Ghadially et al. 1963
Bowen's disease Senile keratoses BCC & SCC A bright yellow green fluorescence can be detected in actively malignant tumours painted with a solution of Declomycin and cyanocobalamin. Believed it could be reliably used to distinguish between benign and malignant tumours of the skin. Lipnik 1963


  • Carter, R., Floyd, C. and Cohn, I., 1962, "Tetracycline fluorescence in tumors and colon washings," Surg. Forum 13: 96-97.
  • Figge, F. and Clarke, C., 1942, "The basic technique of Kodachrome photography of fluorescence phenomena." J. Lab. Clin. Med. 27:1606-1610.
  • Figge, F., 1944, "Fluorescence studies on cancer," Can. Res. 4 (8):465-471.
  • Ghadially, F., Neish, W. and Dawkins, H., 1963, "Mechanisms involved in the production of red fluorescence of human and experimental tumours," J. Path. Bact. 85 (1):77-92.
  • Jones, E., Shaw, H. and Figge, F., 1946, "Studies on the red fluorescent deposits on vagina and cervix: a possible aid to detection of malignancy," Am. J. Obst. Gynae.51:467-472.
  • Lipnik, M., 1963, "Rapid fluorescent screening test for skin malignancies," Arch. Derm. 87:575-583.
  • Lipson, R., Baldes, E and Olsen, A., 1961, "Hematoporphyrin derivative: a new aid for endoscopic detection of malignant disease," J. Thor. Cardiac Surg. 42 (5):623-629.
  • Rassmussen- Taxdal, D., Ward, G. and Frigge, F., 1955, "Fluorescence of human lymphatic and cancer tissues following high doses of intravenous hematoporphyrin," Cancer 8 (1):78-81.
  • Ronchese, F., 1953, '.The fluorescence of epidermoid carcinoma under the Wood light," Med. Radiogr. Photogr. 29:6-8.
  • Ronchese, F., Walker, B. and Young, R., 1954, "The reddish-orange fluorescence of necrotic cancerous surfaces under the Wood light," Arch. Derm. Syph. 69:31- 42.

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© 2002 Prof. Robin Williams and Gigi Williams - Disclaimer
Last modified: 3 May 2002